Two miners were killed by a collapse in a Centertown, Kentucky surface coal mine on Friday, October 28, according to Thinkprogress.org. The two men were killed when a highwall, an unexcavated face of rock in a strip-mining site, collapsed onto the truck they were driving.
The mine has been owned and operated for the past two years by Armstrong Coal, and within that time the company has been cited by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for no fewer than 15 safety violations. Safety violations included unsafe operation of mining equipment and the placement of equipment and other materials at the top of pits or highwalls, which can fall and injure a worker. In addition to these violations, Armstrong Coal was cited by the MSHA this past April for the stability of a highwall and the same mine where the fatal incident recently occurred.
Mines are among the deadliest work environments in the country, and compared to other types of mines, coal mines are the most deadly with 44 deaths in 2010 alone, according to the MSHA. Accidents such as explosions, collapses, fires, and many others can have disastrous consequences and result in the catastrophic injury and death of multiple workers in a short amount of time. As such, heavy regulations are now placed on mines and the companies that operate them.
When negligence or oversight in the workplace results in the injury or death of workers, those responsible can be held liable for the damages caused. Kentucky workplace injury attorney Tad Thomas has committed his life to representing those injured by the negligent actions of others and is a member of the Kentucky Justice Association.